Today the Disney story came alive with creatures, big, small and abominable! We started our longest day of the week with breakfast in our hotel restaurant where Roan wasn't feeling too great. His stomach was bothering him and I was worried we'd have to start out later or all in all, just not go. But after cramming some dry toast into his belly he started to perk up. So onto the bus and off to Animal Kingdom we ventured.
It's a beautiful park. Kind of a cross between a zoo and an amusement park. The weather was still a little chilly but thankfully 4 degrees warmer than it had been. At least it was moving in the right direction. As soon as we got there we found exotic birds who were so close we could touch them. No cages, no big fences, it was different than we were used to. We bee lined it to the back of the park to get on the Kilimanjaro Safaris as it was the main ride I wanted to do at this park. You encounter wildlife as you sarfari in an open sided jeep across 110 acres of African like savannah. The weather today was perfect for this ride. Not too hot, not too cold so the animals were out and moving. It was pretty authentic like and I couldn't believe how close up they could get to the jeeps with no barriers between us. One black rhino got about 5 feet from me and if we'd stayed in that spot long enough I think he would have gotten closer and I could have touched him. Maybe not, but one can dream, that's what Disney is about no?
After the safari trek we hopped on the train and went over to the Conservation Island and got to meet Pocahantis, Raffiki, and Jimminy Cricket!!! The kids were less amused but I was happy as a lark! I made them take pictures of all of us with them. I'm not too sure Roan even knew who any of them were. Gage was more aware.
We then made our way over to Asia and boarded a runaway train down Mount Everest. We had to beware of the Yeti. This roller coaster went backwards and my stomach wasn't too happy about this. But overall it was a decent ride and Roan had tackled his second major roller coaster with ease and excitement enough to ride it again. I passed and got in line to watch the Finding Nemo Musical.
Which was amazing. It's a breathtaking stage show that merges original music and puppetry with live performances. Think Lion King on Broadway. We had AMAZING seats because I was second in line so we were up close to the stage. I cannot get over how perfect it was. Even the boys were in awe. It was pretty spectacular.
We skipped the raging river rapid ride today because it was just a tad too cold to be walking around wet. So we headed towards the time machine to go and save a dinosaur but not before stopping to take a picture with Flick from Bug's Life. The boys had a quick snacked and we were introduced to Disney's version of shit hawks. Mallard ducks. I'll take this version any day. So adorable.
So off we went to travel through time to save an allosaurus (I think). Gage thought it was way too loud, Roan thought it was one of his favourite rides. I thought it was ok. The boys then headed over to Dinosaur Town to ride a roller coaster similar to The Fly at Canada's Wonderland but more lame as Gage says. And then we hopped in line to meet Pluto and Goofy!! I rubbed Goofy's belly per my aunt's instruction and they made me go stand with Pluto. haha I love the character shots. They are my favourite. I've got no problem waiting in line for those!
We then had to book it from this park, back to the hotel to change for our 5 star dinner reservations at the Grand Floridian Hotel. That hotel looks like it's right out of the Great Gatsby. I can't even imagine how much it costs to stay at that hotel. It was magnificent and beautiful. The grounds were breathtaking. Our dinner reservations were at Narcoossees on the waters edge right behind the hotel. It was definitely the nicest restaurant my boys have been to and likely even myself. Both Gage and I had the Surf & Turf and if ordered off the menu each plate was $59. That's crazy. But man oh man, it was so wonderful. Roan had Filet Mignon as well. No lobster. We clearly enjoyed our dinner with Gage claiming it was the best dinner he's ever had. He was so excited for it. We could see the tips of Cinderella's castle from our table changing colour as night fell and eventually turning into the white twinkle lights they have on it for Mickeys Very Merry Christmas Party that we had tickets for so we headed out to the Magic Kingdom for some Christmas fun.
Because we were at one of the hoity toity hotels we were allowed to take the Monorail over to M.K. Gage was super happy as he'd never been on something like that. We got there in probably 3 minutes which was nice. We headed in and up Main St. where it was lightly 'snowing' (soap suds actually, but it looked so real in the night sky) and went over to Tomorrowland to get closer to Space Mountain. We started out at the Monsters Inc. Laugh Station which is a mock comedy club with interaction from the audience. It was actually way more funny than I was anticipating and I wish it had gone on longer. We then boarded Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, where we got to participate in shooting targets. Gage destroyed Roan and I. We finally made our way over to Space Mountain, the glow in the dark roller coaster through space. Roan was uber excited about this ride. And I had fond memories as well. With the park being closed to only those who bought passes to the Christmas Party there were very little wait times. When we finished the ride, Roan loved it, Gage was mildly disappointed. He thought the glow in the dark part and the stars and planets and shit were cool, but the ride was boring. He wanted loops and since it was inside a dome, that wasn't going to happen.
Next we hit the Speedway which is a weak version of go carts and then headed over behind the castle where we ran into Tigger!! Stoked. By the time we got into the centre of the park the fireworks were starting. And can I just say this was the best display of fireworks I have ever seen. We also got to see Tinkerbell fly out of the castle which was crazy awesome. We then boarded the Snow White ride which the boys thought was lame, but not nearly as lame as It's A Small World....I explained how IASW is a staple of Disney and you have to do it at least once. Once will be all they do it. haha We then journeyed into Neverland with Peter Pan before making our way over to the Haunted Mansion for a twisty turny ride through a haunted house where a ghost boarded our car trying to come home with us. It was pretty neat. We decided at this time to head back to the hotel. It was 11 at night and we'd been going for 14 hours and were exhausted.
So back we came to get re-energized to hit up Epcot and Hollywood Studios to do some of the rides we didn't get a chance to do the first time around. More pictures from today can be found here.